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N 5'3 

No. 17 





Past Chaplain-General and Past Historian- General 






DECEMBER 14, 1906 

Published by the Society. 

tea. ■j^a^s~> r^'^^- 



Order of the Founders and Patriots of America 





Deputy Governor 







State Attorney 




Brig.-Gen. henry STUART TURRILL, U. S. A, 




I 904- I 90 7 













Some Municipal Problems that Vexed 

the Founders. 

By Rev. William Reed Eastman 

Mr. Governor, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Associates of the 
Order of the Founders and Patriots of America : 

There is a great difference between the discovery of a new 
country and the founding of a nation. Discovery is usually 
the result of carefully laid plans, great sacrifices and persistent, 
even heroic, effort. But when it is done it is done, and the fame 
of the discoverer is secure, or, at least, the only remaining effort 
required of him is to defend his record against the claims of 
others who will say they have done the same thing before him. 

But the founder begins where the discoverer stops, where there 
is everything to be done and almost nothing at all to do it 
with. At the point where the quest of the first has culminated 
in a glorious moment of success, the other, the founder, enters 
upon a life of toil without romance, of trouble and suffering 
without glory ; felling the forests, breaking up the soil, fighting 
the Indians, persuading his neighbors or compelling them to 
live in neighborly ways, in honesty and justice to one another; 
holding back the turbulent, punishing the criminal, rewarding 
the honorable and building up a state by living through years 
of dull routine ; not getting much praise for it and himself so far 
lost in the crowd that his very name is forgotten for 300 years, 
waiting for the recognition of these ancestral orders. The 
pioneer has not only to contend with cold and heat and storm, 
by which nature in the wilderness tests the mettle of the first 
intruders, but is compelled also to face that wretched common 
selfishness which always comes to the surface in the presence of 
disappointment and want. Drudgery and hunger — which stands 
for unsuccessful drudgery — will take the heroism out of common 
men, and when they see that their wives and children also are 
hungry and no relief is in sight it is little wonder if they become 
discontented and disorderly. But the founding of a nation in 

a new country must alwa3^s present such hard conditions. 
Hence we have the right to claim that the founders whom we 
love to honor were uncommon men, who understood very well 
the hard conditions and met them with wisdom, patience and 
steadfastness of no common order and endured to the end. 

Chancellor Kent once said that " Dutch Colonial annals are 
of a tame and pacific character and generally dry and uninter- 
esting." I suppose that that might be said of the lives of 
most of us to-day, with possibly a conspicuous exception of 
brilliant achievement here and there. Men may live very respect- 
able and very useful lives that are also very tame and very pa- 
cific and not interesting to very many others. But social sci- 
ence, which is the knowledge of the art of living together, is 
quite as interesting after all as the art of war; and the homely 
annals of some very homely things that happened serve to make 
the founders real. One thing is certain. They had their 
troubles and the kind of trouble they had was not so different 
from ours but that we can recognize the mark of our kinship. 

The town of New Amsterdam, as the founders knew it, was a 
little place, its scattered wooden houses occupying the triangle 
of ground between the rivers from its southern point at the Bat- 
tery up to the city wall at Wall street on the north. As Steen- 
dam, the first poet of New York, praised it in 1659 : " For I dare 
proclaim that no one can name a better land than that which I 
possess. See, my garden lies on two streams which come from 
the East and from the North and pour into the sea here, rich in 
fish beyond compare. Milk and butter, and fruit which no one 
can overestimate, every vegetable which could be desired, and 
the best grain known." He was writing the " Complaint of New 
Amsterdam," and goes on to show that these fair regions are be- 
ing trampled upon by "the swine," by which libelous designa- 
tion he distinctly refers to the intrusion of English settlers from 
New England, and concludes his poem by declaring that if a suf- 
ficient number of colonists could be sent over, New Amsterdam 
would supply her mother's kitchen with everything it might 

Though the town was small, it was the landing place for ships 
and commanded the approach to a goodly territory stretching 
up and down the coast and inland so far as to occasion great dis- 
pute as to its true limits. Its governor was director-general of 

a province as well as mayor of a city. His style and title were 
prodigious and reached out over sea and land, claiming every- 
thing. Here is an example of the opening words of a governor's 
proclamation : 

'' I, Petrus Stuyvesant, Director General of New Netherland 
and the Islands thereto pertaining, Captain and Commander of 
the Company's ships and yachts in West India cruising, to all 
who may see or hear these presents read, greeting." You will 
notice, too, that his allegiance is not so much to the crown of 
Holland as to the Company, for the whole enterprise was com- 
mercial in its character. This doughty governor was one of the 
most picturesque figures of our early history. His memory has 
the rare good fortune to be embalmed in literature in the fasci- 
nating fiction of Diedrich Knickerbocker, so that his posthumous 
honors are even greater than any enjoyed by their original while 
living. We are familiar with his sturdy form and dignified car- 
riage as he stumped about the city streets on his wooden leg 
with its silver bands, and we sympathize with his woes when 
forced to surrender his province to the ships of the Duke of 
York. An epitaph written for the governor by Rev. Henricus 
Selyns begins : " Stuyft niet te seer in't sandt, want daer leyt 
Stuyvesant." Here is a play upon the name : " Stuyven," to stir; 
** sandt," the sand. The verse is thus translated : 

"Stir not the sand too much, for there lies Stuyvesant, 
"Who erst commander was of all New Netherland. 
** Freely or no, unto the foe the land did he give over. 
" If grief and sorrow any hearts do smite, his heart 
" Did die a thousand deaths and undergo a smart 
"Insufferable. At first, too rich; at last, too pauvre." 
The great words that introduce his proclamation, to which 
reference has been made, seem to reveal a certain personal grand- 
eur of authority calculated to overwhelm every evildoer. It 
was issued within a week of his arrival from Europe. The first 
Sunday must have been unpleasant and his worship disturbed. 
We read on : "Whereas we have experienced the insolence of 
some of our inhabitants when drunk, their quarreling, fighting 
and hitting each other even on the Lord's day of rest, of which 
we have ourselves witnessed the painful example last Sunday, in 
contravention of law, to the contempt and disgrace of our per- 
son and office, to the annoyance of our neighbors and to the 


disregard, nay contempt of God's holy laws and ordinances 
which command us to keep holy in His honor, His day of rest, 
the Sabbath, and forbids all bodily injury and murder, as well 
as the means and inducements leading thereto." 

Notice in this a number of interesting points, the personal 
watchfulness of the governor, roused by his own experience of 
insolence, citing reasons for his resentment and in this order: 
I Contravention of law; 2, disgrace to his person and office; 
3, annoyance of neighbors; 4, contempt of the Divine law and a 
clear recognition of the fact that inducements to violence and 
murder are forbidden as well as the doing of it. 

Now, the Dutch were not Prohibitionists nor ascetics. They 
were not even Puritans. They appreciated to the full the bless- 
ing of all creature comforts as commonly accepted and loved 
their schnapps and understood as well as the Boston people the 
value of rum discreetly sold and its mechanical power when 
judiciously used. You recall Dr. Holmes' lines on lending a 
silver punch bowl, picturing Miles Standish as he "stirred the 
posset with his sword: " 
" He poured the fiery Hollands in — the man that never 
He took a long and solemn draught and wiped his yellow 

And one by one the musketeers, the men that fought and 

All drank as 'twere his mother's milk and not a man afraid. 
That night, affrighted from his nest, the screaming eagle 

He heard the Pequot's ringing whoop, the soldiers' wild 

And there the Sachem learned the rule he taught to kith 

and kin, 
Run from the white man when you find he smells of Holland 

**A hundred years and fifty more have passed * * * 
When once again the bowl was filled, but not in mirth or joy ; 
'Twas mingled by a mother's hand to cheer her parting boy. 
Drink, John, she said, 'twill do you good, poor child, you'll 
never bear 


This working in the dismal trench, out in the midnight air; 
And if — God bless me — you were hurt, 'twould keep away 

the chill. 
So John did drink — and well he wrought that night at 
Bunker Hill." 

From which we might infer that both ''founder" and "patriot'^ 
were interested in this. 

We have no reason to suppose that our Dutch ancestors had 
any prejudice against wine or beer or strong waters. On the 
contrary, it is eminently probable that many of them had a 
strong liking for such good gifts of God. But they were, above 
all things, orderly and in their souls they hated disorder as they 
hated the arch adversary, and tippling shops made disturbance, 
so they sought to regulate them — after a fashion — as their 
children and their children's children to the tenth and twelfth 
generation have been doing, and are doing still. But the fash- 
ion with which they began must seem to us extremely mild and 
cautious. First of all, they undertook to forbid Sunday sell- 
ing. Disorder on the Sabbath was peculiarly obnoxious and 
disturbed that satisfactory sense, which they liked to cultivate^ 
once a week, of being right with heaven. It was not so much 
the drink as the disorder which they tried to put under the law. 
This is the Governor''s word : "Therefore, by advice of the late 
Director General and of our Council, and to the end that instead 
of God's curse falling upon us, we may receive his blessing, we 
charge, enjoin and order herewith principally all brewers, tap- 
sters and innkeepers, that none of them shall upon the Lord's 
day of rest, by us called Sunday, entertain people, tap or draw 
any wine, beer or strong waters of any kind and under any pre- 
text before two of the clock" — but note here a qualification — 
** before two of the clock in case there is no preaching or else 
before four" — and here an exception — " except only to a traveler 
and those who are daily customers fetching the drinks to their 
own homes." Evidently travelers and daily customers carrying 
home the drinks were still to enjoy their wonted privilege. 

And here follows the penalty: " To be deprived of their occu- 
pation," with a fine of six Carolus guilders for every customer 
found drinking within the specified time; *'also a fine of loo 
Carolus guilders for any who draw knives or swords rashly or 
in anger, or if they have not the money, to be employed in the 


most menial labor for half a year with bread and water for their 
food." This was in May, 1647. 

The first ordinance against the selling of wine, beer and 
strong waters at unseemly hours on Sundays was followed by 
many more along the same line. The next but one, in July of 
the same year, begins : 

" Whereas daily a great deal of strong liquor is sold to 
Indians, which before now has caused great difficulties to the 
country * * * we forbid all tapsters and other inhabitants 
henceforth to sell any wine, beer or liquors to the savages, to 
draw for them or give it in barter in any manner or form or 
under any pretext whatsoever, or to have it fetched away in a 
mug and thus let it come to the Indians by the third or fourth 
hand, directly or indirectly." 

And a little farther on, in March, 1648, is a series of eight dis- 
tinct articles regulating the taproom, tavern or inn, beginning: 

"Whereas we see and are informed that our former orders are 
not obeyed," and the good governor goes on to suggest some 
possible but very unworthy reasons for disobedience ; because 
"this way of earning a living and the easily made profits there- 
from please many and divert them from their first calling, trade 
or occupation, so that they become tapsters and that one full 
fourth of the city of New Amsterdam has been turned into 
taverns for the sale of brandy, tobacco and beer." This is a 
sorry picture, and the mischief and danger of the situation is 
graphically set forth in the remainder of the document, which 
I will not stop to quote. 

A little further on it is decreed that any one who sells, barters 
or gives strong drink to an Indian shall suffer corporal punish- 

We find an ordinance of ten years later stating that the for- 
merly issued and several times renewed ordinances and procla- 
mations against "unseasonable tapping on the Sabbath and at 
night after the guard has been mounted or the bell has been rung; 
the dangerous, yes, damnable sale of or treating with wine, 
beer and strong waters * * * are not regarded and obeyed; 
to the insult of God's honor, to the injury and disturbance of the 
peace," etc., and therefore they are repeated with "amplifica- 
tions": * * * "concerning the very dangerous, damaging and 
damnable selling or giving of wine or beer to the savages * * * 



by which alone almost all the harm has come or at least is 
threatened and feared, wherever a drunken Indian is seen." 
The penalty for selling liquor to Indians was fixed at "500 
florins fine, bodily punishment as well as banishment from the 

Thus we see the city fathers wrestling in desperate earnest 
with this ancient iniquity, so full of peril to their fortunes and 
themselves. ^ 

Yet at the same time or a little later we find the Colonists on 
the South river, the Delaware, trifling with the very same 
dangerous and damnable fire. In the Pennsylvania archives is 
a deed of land given in 1675 by Ossawatt, an Indian, "in con- 
sideration of two match coats, two guns, two kettles, two axes, 
two knives, two hoes, two looking glasses, two double handfuls 
of powder, two half anckers of strong liquors," — an ancker was 
10 gallons, a half ancker would fill a good-sized keg — " two half 
anckers of strong liquors, two half anckers of strong beere, two 
awls, two barrs of lead and two needles." With such commodi- 
ties land was bought and sold and trade carried on with the 
Indians. The famous deed of William Penn in 1682 is "for 
wampum, blankets, kettles, coats, shirts, guns, knives, etc., etc. 
ffower anckers of tobacco, two anckers of Rumme, two anckers 
of Syder, two anckers of Beere and 300 guilders." 

Yet in the year following Penn himself seems to have come to 
a realizing sense of the issue involved. In 1683, while praising 
the Indians for their good behavior, he says: "The worst is 
that they are ye wors for ye Christians * * * some of them 
admirably sober, though ye Dutch and Sweed and English have 
by Brandy and Rum almost debauched them all and when 
Drunk ye most wretched of spectacles often burning and some- 
times murdering one another, at which times ye Christians are 
not without danger as well as fear." 

In the same collection is a recorded d%ed of one Richard 
Mettanicutt, an Indian, who in 1684 sold land to a white man. 
He says: "I confess to have received by order of ye said 
governor one match coat, one pair of stockings and one shert. 
And I do promise never to molest or trouble any Christians, so 
called, settled upon any part of ye aforesaid land." 

Passing now from the Indian peril and the rum peril, or the 
still more deadly peril of Indian and rum combined, to the 


pleasanter — perhaps we might call it the pastoral — side of pioneer 
life, we find other interesting illustrations of the art of living 
together. In the city of Albany there was in 1667 an official 
called the town herder, whose business it was to take, with the 
aid of a boy, the cows to pasture, care for them all day and bring 
them back at night. Among the musty old records of the 
county is a contract prescribing his duties in detail. These are 
a few of the items: "The herder shall be holden to guard the 
cattle at his own expense, also to keep a proper youngster with 
him to watch the cattle * * * Every morning, from April 
20 to November 16, before, or with, the rising of the Sun, he 
shall blow three times with the horn, and then with the young- 
ster and cattle go out where they can best get feed for the cattle 
* ♦ * and about a quarter of an hour before the Sun goes 
down, he shall deliver the cattle at the church." * * * *'If 
the herder shall be found sitting or drinking in any tavern, he 
shall each time forfeit ten guilders seevvant." * * * "For his 
pain he is to receive twenty guilders seewant, for every great 
beast, or for two heifers in place of a great beast," etc. 

Mrs. Grant, of Laggan, in her ''Memoirs of an American Lady," 
describes at length the rural charms of Albany. "Every house 
had its garden, well and a little green behind: before every door 
a tree was planted, rendered interesting by being coeval with 
some beloved member of the family: many of their trees were of 
a prodigious size and extraordinary beauty, but without regular- 
ity, every one planting the kind that best pleased him or which 
he thought would afford most agreeeble shade to the open por- 
tico at his door, which was surrounded by seats, and ascended 
by a few steps. It was in these that each domestic group was 
seated in summer evenings to enjoy the balmy twilight or the 
serenely clear moonlight. Each family had a cow, fed in the 
common pasture at the end of the town. In the evening the 
herd returned all together, of their own accord, with their tink- 
ling bells hung at their necks, along the wide and grassy street, 
to their wonted sheltering trees, to be milked at their masters' 
doors." * * * 

" Nothing could be more pleasing to a simple and benevolent 
mind than to see thus at one view all the inhabitants of a town, 
which contains not one very rich or very poor, very knowing or 
very ignorant, very rude or very polished individual; to see all 


these children of nature enjoying in easy indolence and social 
intercourse 'The cool, the fragrant and the dusky hour' clothed 
in the plainest habits and with minds as undisguised and artless." 
I might say, in passing, that this is not the Albany of to-day. But 
she writes on: *' These primitive beings were dispersed in porch- 
es, grouped according to similarity of years and inclinations. 
At one door were the young matrons, at another the elders of 
the people, at a third the youths and maidens gayly chatting or 
singing together, while the children played around the trees or 
waited by the cows for the chief ingredient of their frugal 
supper, which they generally ate sitting on the steps in the 
open air." 

In the records of the town of Boston may be found some sug- 
gestive entries. Thus, " Whereas the wood upon the neck of 
land towards Roxburie hath this last winter beene disorderly 
cut up and wasted * * * Mr. Treasurer with the three dea- 
cons shall consider whoe have been faultie herein and sette 
downe what restitution of Wood unto the poore such shall 

*'Item: that whosoever at any publique meeting shall fall 
into pryvate conference, to the hindering of the publique busi- 
nesse, shall forfeit for every such offence i2d. to be paid into the 
cunstable's hands for publique use." 

" Item : that none of the members of this congregation or in- 
habitans among us shall sue one another at the law before that 
Mr. Henry Vane and the twoe elders Mr. Thomas Ollyver and 
Thomas Leveritt have had the hearing and desyding of the 
cause if they can." 30 Nov., 1635. 

Returning now to the city of New Amsterdam, we find other 
dangers menacing the peace of the city. '^ It has been noticed 
and seen by the Director General * * * and by the Hon'ble 
Council that some careless people neglect to have their chim- 
neys properly swept and that they do not take care of their fires, 
whereby lately fires broke out in two houses and further trou- 
bles may be expected in the future, the more so, as most of the 
houses here in New Amsterdam are built of wood and roofed 
with reeds^ also as in some houses the chimneys are of wood, 
which is very dangerous." So the wooden chimney is forbidden 
*' henceforth " and fire masters are appointed ''to visit whenever 
they please, the chimneys in all houses between this Fort and 


the Fresh Water" (that is, between the Battery and the Collect 
Pond, from near the present site of the Tombs prison on Center 
street to Canal street), and ascertain their condition, levy fines 
for neglect, etc. And the ordinance ends with this pregnant 
sentence: "And if anybody's house is burned either by negli- 
gence or his own fire, he shall pay a fine of 25 florins to be ap- 
plied as above." 

The troubles of drink and carelessness and those caused by 
Indians good and bad were yet by no means the sum of the dif- 
ficulties that beset the founders of this good city. The selfish- 
ness and greed of a grasping human nature was as manifest in 
setting the palings on the lines of the gardens of New Amster- 
dam as in fixing the boundaries of the self-same soil in Broad 
street or Wall street at the present time. 

The following is the Act of the Honorable Council in 1647 : 

^' As we have seen and remarked the disorderly manner, hith- 
erto and now daily practiced in building and erecting houses, 
in extending lots far beyond their boundaries, in placing pig 
pens on the public roads and streets, in neglecting the cultiva- 
tion of granted lots, the Director General Petrus Stuyvesant and 
Council have deemed it advisable to decide upon the appoint- 
ment of three surveyors * * * whom we hereby authorize and 
empowertocondemnall improper and disorderly buildings, fences, 
palisades, post, rails, etc., and to prevent their erection in future. 
We, therefore, command and warn all and everybody of our sub- 
jects, who henceforth intend to build or put palisades around 
their gardens or lots in or near the city of New Amsterdam that 
nobody shall do or undertake it without previous knowledge, 
consent of and inspection by the above-named appointed survey- 
ors, under a penalt}" of 25 Carolus guilders and destruction of 
what may have been built or set up." 

There was trouble also from traders whose enterprise led them 
beyond the bounds of prudence : " Whereas * * * several pri- 
vate, trading to the South and licensed by this government go 
with their cargoes of linen, wampum, and other wares inland to 
the Minguaes' country, whereby trade is not only spoiled, but 
also great damage is done to the traders, who remain with their 
vessels at the usual trading places and whereby the Indians 
might be induced for the sake of the goods to kill and slay such 
persons, which would bring mishap and war upon this country — 


Therefore for the best service and interest of the West India 
Company and of this district, we forbid and command, as we 
hereby do, that henceforth none of our inhabitants shall go in- 
land with his cargoes or other wares." 

But the great trial of the city seems to have been caused by 
the unruly conduct of the goats and swine. It is thus set forth 
in 1648: *^ Whereas the Honble Director General & Council of 
New Netherland daily see " (and this personal observation is 
very noteworthy) '' that the goats and hogs are doing great dam- 
age in orchards, gardens and other places around Fort Amster- 
dam, which not only prevents the cultivation of fine orchards 
and the improvement of lots, but is also an injury to many pri- 
vate parties — Therefore they * * * order that henceforth no 
hogs or goats shall be pastured or kept between Fort New Am- 
sterdam and its vicinity and the Fresh Water unless within the 
fences of the owners, so made, that the goats cannot jump over 
and damage any one." * * * 

Here is a complaint of another sort bearing on the labor ques- 
tion : " Great complaints are daily made to the Director Gen- 
eral and Council by the Indians or natives, that some inhabi- 
tants of New Netherland set the natives to work and use them 
in their service, but let them go unrewarded after the work is 
done and refuse, contrary to all international law, to pay the 
savages for their labors. These Indians threaten that * * * 
they will make themselves paid or recover their remunerations 
by improper means." 

Therefore all inhabitants owing anything to an Indian are 
warned to pay without dispute. 

Inhabitants who have received lots are warned that they must 
improve and build houses upon them without delay. 

Bakers are warned not to sell the fine white bread to Indians 
till the good inhabitants are supplied. 

In 1650 the trouble of the hogs appears again in these terms : 

" Experience has shown that this decayed fortress, formerly in 
fair condition, has mostly been trodden down by hogs, goats 
and sheep and we are now engaged, in obedience to the orders 
of our masters and patroons, in repairing the same, but it is to be 
feared that the fort may again be damaged by goats, sheep, hogs 
or other animals climbing upon the walls — Therefore * * * 
they hereby warn all and every inhabitant of the place not to 


allow hogs, sheep, goats, horses or cows to run free between the 
Fort, the Company's Brewery at the end of the Heeren wegh 
* * * and the house of Master Isaac Allerton * * * under 
a fine of 6 fl. for the first time for each * * * twice as much 
the second time and confiscation of all for the third time." 

In 1658 appears this : " Furthermore as the roads and streets 
of this city are by the constant rooting of the hogs made unfit 
for driving over in wagons and carts, the Burgomasters and 
schepens order that every owner of hogs in or about the city 
shall put a ring through the noses of their hogs to prevent them 
from rooting." 

And in still another place in 1653 Petrus Stuyvesant says : 
^' We see to our trouble and shame the pigs daily on the walls, 
busy with their destruction." 

This trouble with the pig was not confined to New Amster- 
dam. Boston in 1634 enacted "that noe swine above 12 weeke 
ould shall be suffered to go att libertie on the necke." And in 
i6j8 '' also it is ordered that every inhabitant amongst us shall 
forthwith ring and yoake their swine * * * upon paine of 
every swine found abroad unrung and unyoked * * * for 
every time so taken iis. 6d." 

Such were some of the homely and stupid trials of the found- 
ers who were gradually and steadfastly bringing into shape the 
shapeless elements of life in a new country. The patriots of the 
revolution had their trials, too, and we have ours. And, after all 
they are much alike. 

The old problems are the new problems. The drink, the 
carelessness and imprudence of easy-going citizens, the disre- 
gard of one another's rights, the grasping for land and for 
everything else in reach and — the swine — have not disappeared. 
The real animal hog wallowing in the gutters of Manhattan was 
a familiar sight to me when I was a boy. They tell me that in 
the light of a better civilization he has vanished from the streets. 
But in other forms he survives. He is not confined to the pur- 
lieus of Chatham street. He has moved from Five Points to Fifth 
avenue. Unrung and unyoked, he roots upon the walls along 
the very same Wall street. He rides in an auto-car and riots on 
the Exchange ; now wrecking a railroad or organizing a "pred- 
atory corporation " or working a political machine for all it is 
worth. Then, in search of new worlds to conquer, he wanders 


up the river, scattering dynamite along the Palisades, blasting 
the cliffs of Hook Mountain and Storm King, and will find no 
rest till he has drained Niagara. 

Where there were hundreds of people then there are millions 
now. We must live together and prosper or suffer together. 
The advances we have made, measured by great achievements 
and noble monuments, have been marvelous. The heart of the 
people is sound and their hands are strong. And still, like our 
fathers, we are continually repairing the fort, striving to make 
more strong and more shapely the bulwarks of virtue, good 
order and national strength ; and continually the beasts — sheep, 
goats and hogs — are climbing on the walls and trampling them 
down. This civic conflict between vice and virtue, greed and 
honor, is forever on foot. 

We honor the founders for the noble stand they made and for 
the substantial success they gained. May we be found not less 
worthy as their successors in standing for all that is right and 
honorable. In this way alone can we prove our title to our heri- 


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borne municipal problems that vexed the f